Morocco holidays from
The accessible exotic
Sample a tagine of irresistible ingredients
The gateway to Africa, Morocco is a diverse and dazzling place where you can explore vast deserts, ancient cities and dramatic mountains. Although just across the Mediterranean from Spain, Morocco stands in such exotic contrast to its European neighbours. There may be a strong French influence on Morocco’s cities and high culture, but this country at the western edge of the Arab world is arguably more influenced by the culture of local Berbers, longstanding inhabitants of the area whose language is still spoken in many places.
Few sights in Morocco can rival the covered souk, hawkers and storytellers of Marrakech’s phenomenally lively Djemaa el-Fnaa central square, or its surrounding tangle of ancient streets. Less visited but no less magical is the ancient capital of Fez, with its sprawling Medina, old university and traditional leatherworking industry. Morocco also offers real peace, notably in the stark, ancient kasbah fortresses and mountain valleys of the High Atlas, the well-kept, sandy beaches near Atlantic Agadir and the easy-going charm of the historic port of Essaouira. Further off the beaten track are the camel trails and eerie beauty of the Moroccan Sahara. So, slip on those Baboosh shoes, pour yourself a glass of sweet mint tea and prepare to immerse yourself in the country’s many charms. Book your flights to Morocco today.
Carefully selected Morocco hotels
Best hotels in Morocco for all types of traveller
We have a great selection of hotels in Morocco. The Four Seasons Resort Marrakech offers luxury touches such as a welcome drink of fresh lemonade or mint tea, immaculate gardens and an expansive spa. The Oberoi Marrakech is set within 28 stunning acres of orchards and olive groves and offers a spa, a kids’ club and an extensive library. The Sol Oasis Marrakech is a fantastic all-inclusive hotel that’s great for families with a large swimming pool, kids’ splash pool and kids’ club. The Iberostar Club Palmeraie Marrakech offers beautifully landscaped gardens with 100,000 palm trees and views of the Atlas Mountains. The Barcelo Palmeraie All Inclusive in Marrakech has two swimming pools (one heated), as well as a tennis court and fitness centre.
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Meknes has some magnificent imperial architecture, with gates, palace remnants and a marketplace, while a short drive away lies the stunning little hillside town and pilgrimage site of Moulay Idriss Zerhoun, a bit more off the tourist trail, and close to the partly excavated Berber-Roman ruins of the city of Volubilis.
What are the best things to do in Morocco?
- Explore the Kasbah of the Udayas, the clifftop citadel of the capital Rabat. The kasbah dates from the 12th Century but has been renovated many times since. Inside the impressive Bab Oudaya gate lies a network of winding streets housing a small museum, Rabat’s oldest mosque and a beautiful garden.
- Take a tour of Casablanca’s colossal Hassan II Mosque. One of Africa’s largest mosques juts out dramatically over the ocean and can hold up to 105,000 people. A squad of over 600 master craftspeople worked on the mosque’s intricate design while noteworthy features of the building include a heated floor and retractable roof.
- Visit the Caves of Hercules, just outside Tangier. See the spot where according to legend Hercules rested after separating Europe and Africa. Snap a photo of a crack in the rock which resembles the outline of Africa and take a guided tour to learn more about the myths and stories associated with the caves.
- The Moroccan Sahara is split into two dune areas: Erg Chebbi and Erg Chigaga. In the former, the dunes of Merzouga are the most visited and can reach 150 metres, while in the latter, the more remote dunes of Zagora are less touristy but closer to Marrakech. Ride a camel, rent a quad bike, visit traditional Berber villages, stop by small oases fringed by date palms, surf the sands and enjoy the pristine night skies.
- The Rif Mountains are Morocco’s most northerly peaks and remain popular with hikers for their Mediterranean views and easy-going treks. In this region check out the towns of Chefchaouen, with its famously blue medina, and Tetouan, with its splendid Spanish colonial architecture.
Where are the best places to visit in Morocco?
Marrakech is a heady blend of new and old, offering plenty to dazzle the senses. Artisan traditions stretching back centuries are alive and well. In the airy avenues of Gueliz and Hivernage there’s prime shopping. Visit the Bahia Palace and the Dar Si Said, trawl the souks and lose yourself in the Medina.
Agadir, Morocco’s main seaside resort, gets 300 days of sun a year making it a popular place for sun seekers. Haggle for bargains in the El Had souk, enjoy the Timitar world music festival in summer and stroll along the seven-mile-long promenade.
The cosmopolitan, coastal city of Casablanca is more future focussed than other Moroccan cities but retains enough charm to tempt visitors. Don’t miss Hassan II Mosque, home to the world’s largest religious minaret, savour fresh seafood on La Corniche and shop in the Quartier Habous, an architecturally unique area combining Moorish and art deco influences.
The imperial city of Fez has centuries of cultural heritage behind it. Its populous Medina provides a dizzying assault on the senses. Take in the view from the Tombs of the Merinids, discover the sights and smells of the Chouara Tannery and its fine selection of leather goods and have a restorative soak in the Moulay Yacoub Thermal Baths.
The High Atlas Mountains sprawl across some 600 miles and are fertile ground for hiking and biking, being North Africa’s leading trekking destination. There are impressive peaks to scale, well-trodden passes to cross and mud-thatched Berber villages to pass. Regular seasonal snowfall in its highest reaches makes snow sport viable in Oukaimeden.
Known as ‘the Wind City of Africa’, Essaouira naturally attracts windsurfers and kitesurfers half the year while visitors are drawn here the rest of the time by the many art galleries, to wander the winding alleys of its Medina and to watch traditional seafaring activities in its highly atmospheric port.
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